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Revise essay about swimming

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Apr 28, 2008   #1

Can you please revise this essay on swimming activity for me ... thanks lots!!:)

Recordings of swimming have been dated back since the prehistoric times of the Stone Age. Back in the day, record timings were a lot longer because there wasn't much resources and developed information about the human body and health. Conversely, as the years passed by scientific research has developed so much that we were able to sort out what would benefit our health and in what way. However despite the amount of published information about proper nutrition, not many efforts have been made to illustrate the nutritional needs and the optimal nutritional routine of a competitive swimmer. As a result, some swimmers have turned to the "easy way out" of ergogenic aids and performance enhancing substances that would guarantee them a successful performance. The only catcher is that many do not know the story behind these substances and aids. The nutritional needs and their effects on a swimmer are sometimes combined or replace by ergogenic aids which may have serious shot and long term effects on the athlete's physical health.

One of the most basic needs for human survival is a healthy nutritional diet. Nutrition is utilized to build body tissue, supply body heat, and basic metabolic processes. Food is usually categorized into two classes: macronutrients and micronutrients. First we will deal with macronutrients which are the human body's direct sources of energy consisting of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. When swimmers eat only as much as they personally desire, they fail to consume enough carbohydrates to compensate for that energy used during training. This divergence may be the reason why many swimmers become chronically worn out and need a long period to recuperate completely from a workout. As a result, nutritionists have suggested that swimmers should try to eat at least five-hundred grams of carbohydrates per day or four to five grams per pound of body weight (Heysmand, 2007). Studies also suggest that carbohydrate rich foods should always be consumed one to four hour prior to exercise. Proteins on the other hand, are nitrogen based compounds which contribute to the structural component of cells, antibodies, enzymes and many body tissues. Many believe that protein is a primary source of energy however that is not completely true. It does provide energy but little amounts of it. Thus, it can help when athletes such as swimmers don't get enough carbohydrates in their diet. However, fats can be a replacement since it provides up to 70% of total energy when the body is in its resting state. Swimmers generally think of fat in negative terms; however fats have scientifically been proven to add optimism during swimming, reducing the energy required to keep the body on the surface of the water. Other important parts of a healthy and nutritional diet are micronutrients which consist of water, vitamins and minerals; act as co-agents in this bioenergetic process and aid many processes such as digestion, and metabolism (Temertzoglou & Challen, 2000). In view of the fact that, swimmers spend hours in water and usually don't experience dehydration, there are many situations where sweating and dry land training may release a significant amount of body water. As a result of dehydration, researchers say that performances may suffer when a swimmer looses as little as 2% of water. Thus, it is highly recommended that swimmers drink at least 1 to 2 cups of fluids before competing and 4-10 oz every twenty minutes of training (Whitten, 2007). In addition, minerals are also an important part of a swimmer's diet. In fact, approximately 4% of one's body weight is in the form of mineral and most of this can be found in the bone. Calcium, potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, phosphorus, and magnesium are all mineral of which play significant roles in the body. Calcium for one is the most abundant mineral which builds and maintains bone and teeth. Iron however is extremely important for athletes and swimmers since its role is to transport oxygen in the blood. Lack of oxygen would mean that a swimmer would have trouble breathing and this might arise more health problems. The last components of the micronutrients group are vitamins which are essential for the release of energy, for tissue building, for skin and normal bone development. Overall, the optimum diet for swimmers must contain adequate amounts of all that is mentioned above in proper portions.

All through history athletes have all experimented with performance enhancing substances known as ergogenic aids. The word ergogenic first originated from the Greek words "ergo" meaning work and "gen" meaning the production of. Day by Day more athletes use ergogenic aids weather it's legal, illegal, safe or unsafe. The most common among young swimmers is the Human growth hormone (hGH). This hormone is a polypeptide hormone which used by athletes in hope that it provides beneficial effects such as strength gains, muscle size and overall performance enhancement. However researchers say that it is likely that this hormone would have little effect on swimming performance if any for that matter. However no concrete evidence has been found yet as there has been no established research on this. In conjunction with the human growth hormone, anabolic steroids are also widely spread across the swimming profession. Androgenic Anabolic steroids (AASs) are specialized derivatives of the male hormone testosterone. Their main function is to increase protein synthesis and increase lean muscle mass when combined with training and proper nutrition. However not all types of AASs are for performance enhancement, but there are lots of different medical uses for it. Some ASSs enhance swimming strength, tolerance for anaerobic work and shorten the amount of time required for recovery. They are actually the most frequently used drugs in the swimming profession for enhanced training and competitive performances. Another rising issue in the swimming profession is the new High tech friction reducing swim suit. While the manufacturing of the swimming suit is still in progress there have been enormous debates on weather it should be allowed in competitive events. So far researchers claim that this high tech suit is designed to reduce skin friction drag by 4% which is the most important aspect when it comes to knocking off the last tenth of a second in an event. In a traditional suit there is a lot of skin movement which actually contributes to the drag of the swimmer slowing them down. With this new "laser racer" researchers say it controls that amount of skin movement by repelling water and keeping the swimmer on the surface of the water. Steve Furniss, who is a 1972 Olympic bronze medalist and co-founder of TYR Sport, says that "in the new "laser racer" the swimmer needs less oxygen meaning they can swim a lot faster and longer as well body movement is a lot smoother."

Although the previously mentioned ergogenic aids might improve a swimmers performance physically they also are the cause for many medical disorders and diseases. The Human growth hormone for one doesn't seem to increase performance a whole great deal however, it can lead to several unpleasant side effects including allergic reaction, diabetes, increased sized in facial bone, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, muscle weakness and also a fatal neurological condition known as Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease. Unfortunately the medical risks of taking Androgenic Anabolic steroids are also very great and far more dangerous than taking the human growth hormone. AASs interfere with the interactions between hypothalamic, pituitary, and gonadal functions that can lead to tumors and psychiatric syndromes. In adult males there may be kidney liver dysfunction, breast enlargement, and baldness. In adolescent males the effects are more serious because this substance leads to premature closure of long bone epiphyses therefore exploiting growth. Females however, experience abnormal menstruation and masculinization. Most patients don't recognize that these side effects are completely irreversible and fail to research such aspects before taking the substance. However, the new "high tech" yet has not been rejected for any side effects. The only controversial issue that yet stands is the availability of the suit to the competitors. Some may have an advantage of getting the suit while others might not afford it; making the game "unfair" for the less fortunate competitors. "This sport should be mano a mano ď not my suit is better than your suit. If I had my way, everyone would swim in the same nylon suit." said eight-time medalist Gary Hall. Mr. Hall also adds that it's all about hard work and that whoever wearing the suit will not necessarily swim as fast as Michael Phelps.

In the sport of swimming, optimal performance can be reached by a nutritional diet but also with performance enhancing substances, which very often have possible health risks associated with them. On average it is agreed upon the influence of nutrition on a swimmer's performance in both training and competition. Therefore from the prior discussion it can be concluded that a most advantageous diet for such athletes must contain sufficient quantities of both macronutrients and micronutrients. However, some swimmers fall short in recognizing this and turn to ergogenic aids or performance enhancing substances. The swimmer, without even knowing it, may be exposing themselves to many diseases and medical disorders. Because the international governing body's inability to control and reluctance to confront the rapid declining status of swimming, which as has been a result of the increased use of banned substances, this has threatened the desirability of swimming as a competitive recreation activity.

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